DENVER (AP) – The 10th U.S. District Court of Appeals will hear arguments from landowners, hunters and conservation groups trying to block plans to drill dozens of natural gas wells in parts of the San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado.

Arguments have been scheduled for March 11 in Denver.

Five groups say the project conflicts with the forest management plan and will harm wildlife and sensitive areas. Of special interest are the HD Mountains, which include roadless areas and account for roughly 45,000 acres of the 125,000-acre project area.

BP America Production, one of the companies planning to drill there, says the only question remaining is whether federal officials took a “hard look” at air quality.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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